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Anchorage choral group forms for those with dementia

(KTUU)
Published: Nov. 25, 2019 at 10:22 PM AKST
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The Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska formed a chorus with the goal of creating a positive experience for people with dementia and their care partners.

“Music is strongly connected to emotion,” Ann Faris said. “And hearing music can evoke emotions in the past. We’ve done a lot of laughing and a lot of crying.”

The group rehearsed for seven weeks and performed at the Wilda Marston Theatre at the Loussac Library.

“When you have dementia, the bad memories don’t stay long,” said Lonnie Liggitt, a longtime conductor and composer who was recently diagnosed with dementia. “I’m a lot happier now from when I was carrying around a lot of baggage.”

Lonnie Liggitt helped lead the choir throughout its rehearsals and performance. Liggitt said that music has helped him deal with his diagnosis.

“With dementia, there’s things you need to fill in,” he said. “And music has an ability so that you feel complete. It’s hard to describe.”

The Voices of the Last Frontier joins dozens of other choirs across the nation bringing together people with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is planning its next performance in the spring.

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